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It’s getting hot in here! (Paranormal Romance-MINE)

It's getting hot in here! (Paranormal Romance-MINE).

It’s getting hot in here! (Paranormal Romance-MINE)

I’m excited to share that I am working on something very yummy for you! It’s a new paranormal romance called MINE. It started of course, with an idea.

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  A year ago, I started typing away, ignoring my bad posture, hunched over my laptop in concentration, going to bed at 3 and 4 in the morning! 

 

It started as a story based on the Greek goddess Astraea… 60,000 words and hours of research connecting Greek gods and backstories later (which I’m sure I can use in another book, for words and ideas should not go to waste!),  the premise took a WHOLE different turn… And EVERYTHING started falling perfectly into place. Things would connect simply by very good luck, and I’d shriek and dance… I found a perfect soundtrack to write to, and then I picked out the characters for this book. This made it come even more alive. Their faces inspired me. You can see them on my Pinterest board here!

I had Jacob and Dalia in my head (Photos courtesy of Ariana Grande and Liam Hemsworth)…

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 …But I couldn’t find the perfect face for my villain. I knew he was hot, and while scary, he had to be irresistible! So one day in my MFA class, we were asked to watch The Butterfly Circus, and this happened… (photos courtesy of The Butterfly Circus and Eduardo Verastegui)

 

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 Love at first sight! Wait! Here’s one more:

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 I had found my PERFECT muse for the evil Sebastian, and let me tell you… if I had to submit myself to him and give him my life and purity to spare my loved ones… well, I’d be a very willing martyr…

So things are coming along well! If you’d like to sample the first few chapters, drop me a line! The synopsis is below!

 

There is a balance between life and death that should never be tampered with.

      Tall, dark, and deadly…

     Jacob is charming and gorgeous, ever the gentleman, ever the heart, but he’s also an angel of death, doomed to take the souls of mortals who he’s grown quite compassionate of. And one in particular has stolen his heart, a human named Dalia, and he’s flipping for her… literally. There’s only one way to get closer to this irresistible human. He’s joined the college cheer team where she’s the captain. But trying to balance his death duties, cheer practice, wild college parties and wooing the team’s tough leader are nothing compared to what’s coming.

 

     Sexy, intellectual, compassionate and strong-willed…

     School and cheerleading are Dalia’s life, end of story. But suddenly, her interest has been sparkedby an intoxicating stranger, and her tough exterior, molded by a recent heartbreak, is quickly crumbling against her will. Jacob is endearing and mysterious – not to mention dazzling with his hazel eyes, sandy brown hair and a body that kills – and he’s getting closer to her interior – a girl who just wants to love and be loved. She’ll fight her heart every step of the way, until she simply can’t…

 

     Happily ever after…

     It’s just not possible when you’re an angel of death or when you happen to be dating one.

 

     When Jacob’s master, Sebastian, begins to suspect Jacob’s emotions have gone too far, he instigates an aggressive and devastating plan to stop Jacob’s “reckless” behavior.

      In a climactic moment that brings Jacob, Sebastian and Dalia together, Jacob’s “foolish” infatuation with Dalia is revealed. According to Sebastian, this foolishness is dangerous and forbidden, capable of impairing judgment over the presiding of souls, and capable of bringing an even worse punishment from the Underworld than stealing souls on earth – the eradication of their kind.

     Sebastian must teach Jacob the severity of his actions, and the lessons best taught often involve those we cherish.  

     Dalia is now being hunted by an insatiable predator, and Jacob vows to protect her at all costs. But Dalia is no damsel in distress. As this new reality sets in, and as she watches those she loves get pulled deep into this evil tryst, she instigates her own plan – one meant to save Jacob and her family who are now swallowed up in Sebastian’s wrath. Fearless and resolute, she will search for Sebastian and give herself and her purity fully to him. But that’s the easy part- leaving behind the angel she loves proves far harder than the danger of what’s to come.

     In a world of demons, death, life and love, MINE is an emotionally-driven read. Dalia is bold and beautiful as she takes on a modern role of The Arabian Nights’ Scheherazade, working to charm her captor and protect her own cherished ones. But will it work?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

True Connection by Rachel Walter #BlogTour #CrazyGirlBlogTours

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Hello, everyone! I am so excited to share with you Rachel Walter’s debut novel, True Connection! This is the last stop of a wonderful tour hosted by Crazy Girl Blog Tours, and it’s been a blast!

I’m absolutely loving this book and am officially sleep deprived! 

Get your copy today!

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Synopsis:

‘It’s going to take a fight, I know that. But it’s more than just a fight for my life. It’s a fight for my soul and my soul mate.’

Jazzy Williams is not your average coffee-loving teen. She’s struggling with her grief, her famous uncle’s fans, an overprotective big brother, and a depressed mother, all while trying to make friends at her new school. In the first week, she meets a gorgeous green-eyed hottie who turns out to be more than just some high school crush – he’s more than human. And she unknowingly enrages a very dangerous breed of immortal who wants her soul or life as payment. With the help of supernatural friends and protectors, Jazzy thinks she’s safe until what remains of her family is put in danger. Does Jazzy have what it takes to save her family, life, soul and soul mate, or will all be lost?

*Warning* Mature Content. This contains some profanity, mild sexual situations, innuendoes, and violence. Recommended for ages 17 and up, depending on maturity level.

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EXCERPT

“Do you really want to talk or are you just using this as an excuse to get me to go on a date with you?”

 “I do have some fairly important things to discuss with you, but if you’d like, we can save it for another day and make this a date,” he answers, while not taking his eyes from the road.

“Fine, talk first. If you’re lucky, I might give you my number.” I laugh.

“I don’t need your number,” he says quietly.

I’m confused. He didn’t say want. He said need.

He glances my way. “Get that frown off your face. Just because I don’t need your number, doesn’t mean I don’t want it.” He reaches over and pats my hand before going back to the gear shifter.

His touch was warm and left a tingling sensation on my skin. For all of two seconds I felt whole again and now I feel like I’m aching. I pinch my thigh through my jeans.

What kind of girly little crush do I have?

“Why wouldn’t you need my number?” I ask, trying to shake off the strange ache.

“I’ll explain that when we get to the lake. I think I’m going to start this conversation where you can’t run away from me.”

“I can’t run anywhere now,” I point out.

  He sighs. “This is going to be difficult for me to tell you, like it was difficult for you to tell Skeeter and me yesterday.” He glances my way and then looks back to the road. “It has several consequences and outcomes. In fact, I had to travel to get permission to tell you to begin with.” He turns the radio on, leaving me with my thoughts.

Now I’m starting to worry on top of being nervous as hell.

Why do I need to be on a boat in the middle of a large lake before he sheds any light on this? Who did he need permission from and why did he need it?

God, I hope he’s not a serial killer.

Maybe his mom was abducted by aliens or his dad kidnapped some king’s son. Maybe I should’ve insisted we stay closer to home, closer to Henry. Maybe he…

I’m going to give myself a migraine by the time we get to the damn lake! Then he’ll have to take me back home, and I’ll never find out what’s going on in his head.

I glare over at Seth, and he’s chuckling. I turn down the radio and ask him what’s so funny.

“Just a random thought, that’s all.” He turns the radio back up.

Fine then, no talking.

I watch him as he drives. Seeing the veins in his arm pop out as he turns the wheel and the muscles ripple when he shifts a gear, I wonder what those arms would feel like wrapped around… Stop it!

Every damn time I’m around him, I think like a pervert! I inwardly growl and press my head back onto the headrest. I’ll just look out the window then.

Trees are in no way erotic, or sensual, or perverted.

Focusing on the trees is easy, but I can still smell him. His amazing smelling cologne mixed with his clean, spicy scent assaults my nose and begs me to lean in close. This car ride is taking forever.

The longer it takes, the more nervous I get. I shift in my seat, cross and uncross my legs, and bite my lip as I stare at endless trees.

 ‘The way she bites her lip makes me want to pull the car over and…

 I gasp, and choke on my breath or saliva.

What was that?!

Who was that?

 

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Author Bio:
Rachel lives in Central Pennsylvania, is a stay at home mom, has a wonderful husband, total of 4 kids, 3 of which are step kids. She’s a true Pittsburgh Penguins and Steelers fan. She’s an insomniac that loves coffee, Johnny Depp movies and bonfires, dislikes driving on the interstate, bugs of any kind, and a too quiet house. When she’s not playing with the people inside her head, making her family think she belongs in the loony bin or writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, finding new music, new books, helping someone or plotting something equally crazy with her Critique Partners.

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The Baby Symphony: The Moments that Change Us

     People have moments that impact their lives every single day. Whether it’s a feeling of happiness, of feeling blessed, of paying that last car payment, getting that A on your final, getting that “YES!” from a publisher or agent. But these moments aren’t always so beautiful. We’ve witnessed the passing of those we love, maybe we’ve held someone’s hand as their diagnosis was given to them, maybe we’ve helped a friend through divorce. These moments, the good and the bad, change us, they dwell in us. They’re inescapable, and they’re real.

 

     I’ve had plenty of these moments myself, of course, moments that have driven me into new direction in life, some wonderful, some deeply sad. With permission, I’d like to share with you today, a glimpse of a journey of a dear friend of mine. I won’t name her, but I have her blessing. We’ll all her “Angel,” because that’s what I feel she is. I had the sad experience of being with her one day on a moment of impact.

 

     My friend, Angel, has struggled with becoming pregnant. And once she’s pregnant, she struggles against her body, to keep that baby inside of her. Her body dispels the very thing it wants, it needs, the very thing her heart sings out for. This has happened each and every time. And while for most of the time, I see her after and hold her hand and support her through it, there was a time when I was with her when her baby left us.

 

     Being there for her moment of heartache will stay with me always. Though she’s not yet a mother with children she can physically present to the world, she is a mother. I have watched her grieve over her lost children. I watched her grieve that day as well. And sadly, she is not alone. There are so many beautiful women out there who have experienced this loss, this difficulty.

 

     My latest book, “The Baby Symphony,” is a look into the life of Emilia Hyatt, a woman begging to become a mother, but finds a tragedy each time. But slowly, ever so slowly, with her husband by her side, she finds healing, hope, and even a renewed love for him and the many other blessings her life.

 

     While Emilia is not real, her character carries my heart for every woman out there who faces this. Some I know, and many I don’t know, but because of my sweet friend, my heart knows you, and I honor you all with this book. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are loved. Thank you to all the kind women who have shared their stories with me. Emilia is a piece of each of you.

 

Excerpt:

 

“Some say that hope is a seed that can only flourish if watered with faith.”

 – Author Unknown

 

     The darkness of our bedroom swallows us. There is no sun today. Appropriately hidden away, withholding its brightness, its joy, we’re left to the merciless clouds that hide it away. The rain taps at our window as if asking permission to come in. Perhaps it wants to wash away our sorrow, but I don’t think so.

     Shoes left unworn litter the entrance to our closet and our blankets are disheveled from days of lingering in this bed. I’m no longer subdued by loss of blood and medication, and I’m fully aware of the tragic circumstance that brings Devin and me back to this place, to this darkness, where we shut out the world and grieve. My eyes sting from the endless tears and the inability to close. The red veins in the whites are swollen grooves, like ridges of mountains. I sigh. This is Gymnopedie. Specifically, Gymnopedie No. 1. The fluidity of the harp, the beautiful moan and whine of the strings in their upper register, the answering winds. It’s all I can think of playing in my head in harmony with the crackle of the rain on our patio pavement and putter tapping at our window. The weeping strings cry with me and for me when I can’t find a tear left. And then like the rain outside, the tears renew with no present end. I feel Devin’s foot rub against my calf. A sign of life. He reaches out to spoon me closer to him. When his hand finds my wrist, he stops abruptly. I feel him peel away from me and hear him shuffling in the nightstand drawer. In seconds, I feel a steady hand carefully inserting cool metal. With a flick, my hospital bracelet falls to the floor. He puts his blade back in his nightstand drawer and cradles me to him.

     I was carrying twins but only for a brief time. Once the first one left, the other, I’m sure, took it as a sign that my womb was no good.  Not for one baby, much less two. They must’ve been our kids. Smart like Devin. In and out of sleep, new nightmares visit me. I am cradling, nursing, dressing, bathing, loving two whole babies. The pleasure is painful. So painful, that even in sleep, I expect to wake and find a sword stuck firmly through my heart.

     After Devin and I escaped the prison of the darkened confines of grief in our bedroom, I decided to begin sleeping on the tan sectional in our den. Tonight marks the third night. I tell Devin it’s because it’s easier to get in and out of with the pain and all.  The time displayed as glowing green numbers on the cable box toy with me. I’m wide awake, and the numbers have hardly changed for the last hour that I’ve watched. I sit up for a moment, debating, fighting the pull of my sanctuary in our bedroom. Devin.

     My confounded husband, leaving me to grieve, wonders what he did wrong. He questions me with those blue eyes. They beg me for answers. Silent tears blame me, I’m sure. He did nothing wrong. He’s done nothing but right since the moment he saved my life. It feels like so long ago. I devour the memory, hoping a ray of happiness can block out the gloom that seems permanently permeating on me.

     It’s the fifth-day anniversary, down to the hour, that I lost our children. The white shutters, blue in the moonlight are open and I can see the stars. I feel like they are visiting me, my precious ones that have listened to my wishes for so long. I’d pluck them out of the sky, one at a time if I could. It would give me some happy activity here again in this witching hour that haunts me. I’d wish for a baby. Again. And not a dead one, either.  I don’t even need two, just one will do.

      I hear soft unsure footsteps. They stop at the mouth of the den. One of our dining chairs creaks. I debate playing possum, sleeping through his visit. But I can’t. Even with my eyes closed I can see his sorrowful face, just like on that poisonous night. Before I can stay myself, the rebellious word escapes.  “Devin.” I’m surprised by my own voice. It’s a stranger, disobedient. I think it’s my heart calling out to him, the one thing that is truly and rightfully his. He fought for it, after all, and he won, winning over the trust and love of a then wounded and hesitant young girl a decade ago.

     He is quickly standing over me, looming, lost. He eagerly accepts the hands I reach out to him, bringing him to sit by me. Our fingers intertwine, just like they used to. It was their dance. The silence is deafening, awkward, but there isn’t much to say.

 

 

 

 

Hey, You! Quit “MUST”erbating!

Hey, You! Quit Musterbating!

I honestly have to say that I often feel unrested about all I failed to accomplish or all that I have on my plate that NEEDS to get done. I think we ALL musterbate and probably more often than we should.

What is Musterbating exactly? According to the handy Urban Dictionary online, Musterbation is a term coined by Albert Ellis, a behaviorist, to describe the tendency to think that certain things “must” occur or “must” be done. It has got to be absolute, with little or no room for failure.

I must get my book published. I must land an agent. I must wash the car, I must write 4,000 words today.I must get all A’s in graduate school. I must make that meeting for PTA. I must have a child of my own to be happy. I must avoid those extra calories today.

As you can see, musterbating can creep into almost any area of our lives! Sadly, I can definitely see how musterbating can creep into the life of a writer!

Don’t get me wrong, now. There is great validity in the things we want, the things we desire. Goals are a beautiful thing, especially when they push us in a direction to become better people, stronger people, more fulfilled people. The problem occurs when we can no longer distinguish a goal from an absolute must, when happiness revolves around that “must.”

We’ve got to chill out and give ourselves a little bit of slack. We’re only human after all, and humans with several obligations each day. We already must wake up and get the kids ready for school, we must attend that work meeting. We must eat.

And while musterbating is a choice, for example, you really don’t have to go to work if you don’t want to, but there’s a consequence for that. You really don’t have to care for your children, but there’s a consequence for that. You really don’t have to care for your elderly mother, but there’s an obligation and a desire to want to do that. In other words, while we don’t have to musterbate because technically we DO have choices, we must distinguish the areas where we make choices because it’s part of our lives, and the areas where we are just piling on unrealistic and unnecessary absolutes.

I am slowly learning to stop musterbating. Life is too short and too precious to worry over things I cannot control. I cannot tell people what to think or how to behave. I cannot bend myself to an unshapely mess.

One sure way Dr. Ellis says we can fight musterbating: Transform the imperative into a preference.

For example, instead of saying, “I must,” you can adopt the attitude of, perhaps, “It would be nice, wonderful amazing, life-changing if I get that job, or land that agent, but I can still live a full life if I don’t.”

So, my friends, as much as we enjoy musterbating, let’s just promise ourselves we’ll try to phase it out as much as we can. We’ll be happier for it!